UNESCO, Coca Cola sign partnership to reduce plastics waste in Vietnam

Wednesday, 2018-10-17 21:01:25
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Michael Croft, chief representative of the UNESCO Office in Hanoi, and Hiroshi Kanazawa, General Manager Coca‐Cola Indochina, sign a partnership between the two sides in dealing with plastic and solid waste in Vietnam.
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NDO – UNESCO announced a new partnership with Coca Cola Vietnam and its development partners at a ceremony in Hanoi on October 17, with a view to reducing plastics and solid waste in Vietnam for a “World without Waste”.

The event was a special occasion to link up all active UN agencies, government bodies and relevant development partners, the private sector, local NGOs and young Vietnamese activists and students with collective actions.

The partnership between UNESCO and Coca Cola focuses on encouraging the application of creative approaches to raise community awareness and supporting youths to develop innovative ideas in collecting, reusing and recycling plastics and solid waste.

Within this partnership framework, UNESCO and Coca Cola will launch the Art of Recycle Awards that will call for creative talents in developing artworks using recycled materials. The Award will be opened for all individuals or groups of Vietnamese citizens aged 15 years old and above. There are two award categories including one targeting accomplished artists and the other for students and communities. Participants are encouraged to propose ideas for artistic projects and outdoor display designs to reuse single-use plastic and aluminum waste. Apart from the issuing of specific awards, the programme will provide financial support for the implementation of the best ideas, with a maximum amount of VND100 million (approximately US$4,280).

In addition to mplementing a communication campaign across various chanels of the UN, NGOs and social networking, UNESCO and Coca Cola will take concrete actions at primary tourism destinations in Vietnam, including World Heritage sites and coastal communities in practical solutions in reducing and recycling of plastics and other solid waste.

During the event, representatives from UNESCO and British Council shared their new initiatives in recycling and waste management in collaboration with Coca‐Cola, particularly in tackling plastics pollution from a cultural, educational, creative and artistic point of view.

Michael Croft, chief representative of the UNESCO Office in Hanoi, speaks at the ceremony.

Addressing the ceremony, Michael Croft, chief representative of the UNESCO Office in Hanoi, highlighted the application of an innovative approach in addressing environmental issues.

“We see the potential to make art out of waste, and to connect people through creativity and imagination. Waste might just be waste, but it might also be artistic inspirations for artists. At the same time, we harness the power of the art to tell a story, to harness its ability to provoke thought and emotion leading to action,” he said.

Hiroshi Kanazawa, General Manager Coca‐Cola Indochina, emphasised that “every package has value and life beyond its initial use and should be collected and recycled into either a new package or another beneficial use. That is the reason why earlier this year, Coca Cola announced its global “World Without Waste” initiative, which aims to collect and recycle 100% of bottles and cans sold by 2030 through packaging innovation and recycled materials, collection system development and partnerships for positive changes.”

Hiroshi Kanazawa, General Manager Coca‐Cola Indochina, speaks at the event.

“It is also very important to know that plastic waste management requires a holistic approach that we can see in the commitments and partnerships announced here today. We believe in the strong collaboration and expect to see positive impacts we can offer to local communities through these meaningful programmes,” he stated.

The signing of a partnership between UNESCO and Bristish Council.

In tandem with the project implemented by UNESCO, Coca‐Cola’s partnership with British Council drives social entrepreneurship and community engagement through the EKOCENTERs program across Vietnam in the next two years, focusing on environmental awareness and waste management, on the following terms.

The newly signed partnerships see a wide array of educational programs, creativity activities and contests as well as strong communications with public and authorised organisations in fostering the awareness and actions for plastic waste management. They also demonstrate for the strong commitment and collaboration between Coca Cola and partners in tackling the challenges of Vietnam in boosting public awareness for plastic waste collection, segregation and recycling for shared value in circular economy, serving for the new positives changes in plastic waste management prospective.

Michael Croft, chief representative of the UNESCO Office in Hanoi, participates in making a painting by using plastic bottle caps at the end of the programme.